Apr 19, 2021

Building Bridges / Breaking Barriers Program

The Miami Jewish Film Festival announces its inaugural Building Bridges/Breaking Barriers program that is launching at its 24th Edition, running April 14-29, 2021. This unique program focuses on showcasing films that highlight the diversity and commonality of the human experience, bringing together audiences with different perspectives and ideologies to explore universal themes and values that deepen our understanding of ourselves and society at large.

This year, the Festival is presenting six films that demonstrate the power that exists in the connection between the Black and Jewish communities in a time of rising racism and antisemitism. Films presented in the program include Nancy Buirski’s A Crime on the Bayou, the concert documentary Dreams of Hope, the coming-of-age drama Tahara starring Rachel Sennott, They Ain’t Ready for Me about a black rabbinical student who leads a fight against gun violence, and Shared Legacies about the African American-Jewish civil rights alliance that features Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, and the late John Lewis.

Each of these films brings together a diverse array of communities and cultures to explore challenging issues. Accompanying the film premieres are Q&As with filmmakers, film subjects, and panels of experts, which will help further establish a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of and dialogue about the minority experience and universal global themes. Each of the films featured in the Building Bridges/Breaking Barriers program are presented for free for all residents of the State of Florida.

Building Bridges/Breaking Barriers is a timely program which serves to uphold shared human values and to foster cultural understanding through cinema. The films presented in the program each speak out against social inequity and stand against all forms of racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia. Most importantly, the program serves as a reminder that we must all engage in the Jewish concept of "tikkun olam," or "repairing the world," and do so in the pursuit of social justice.

All the films presented in this program are accompanied by a virtual discussion with the film’s director and other special guests. You can find the complete virtual film program below:

A Crime on the Bayou (2020)

In this critically-acclaimed documentary by award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski, a young, white Jewish attorney defends an unjustly accused Black teen in a landmark Civil Rights-era case. Click here to Watch the Film!

Dreams of Hope (2020)

This exquisite documentary-concert film celebrates the power of music and shines a spotlight on a remarkable performance at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that featured violins restored from Holocaust concentration camps. Click here to Watch the Film!

Shared Legacies (2020)

The often-forgotten story of the coalition and friendship between the Jewish and African-American communities during the Civil Rights Movement featuring Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, and the late John Lewis. Click here to Watch the Film!

Tahara (2020)

This day in the life of high school students offers both a poignant, funny, and utterly of-the-moment story about loss and death, faith and desire, friendship and first love, and the messiness of being a teenager. Click here to Watch the Film!

They Ain't Ready for Me (2020)

This moving and timely documentary tells the story of Tamar Manasseh, a rabbinical student who is Jewish and black, and how these intersecting identities offer her a road map for addressing one of America’s most urgent crises. Click here to Watch the Film!

Full details on the Festival program can be found at miamijewishfilmfestival.org/films/2021

All Festival films will be available to stream for free starting Thursday, April 15 until Thursday, April 29. More information is available at miamijewishfilmfestival.org or by calling 305-573-7304.

Follow the Miami Jewish Film Festival on Facebook (/miamijewishfilmfestival) or Twitter (@MiamiJFF) for updates with the latest information about the Festival and attending filmmakers. Join the conversation using the hashtag #mjff24 on social media.

The Miami Jewish Film Festival is a program of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), a subsidiary of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

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